The “P” Word

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Every now and again, (ok frequently) I get annoyed when I hear a simple word abused and overused to the point of losing all its significance or meaning.  Currently, the number one word on my shit-list is Passion.  Yes, this perfectly good word, once reserved to convey only the most fervent degree of emotion, was hijacked a decade or so ago by corporate sales and marketing gurus.  The unimaginative clones and followers of these corporate snake oil sales-folk  were taught that they had to have “passion” in order to become successful in their chosen career path.  Well, let”s revisit the actual meaning of this poor little word:

pas·sion
ˈpaSHən/
noun
 1   strong and barely controllable emotion.
      “a man of impetuous passion”  
              •  2.  the suffering and death of Jesus

Ok, I think we can ignore the Jesus part and focus on numero uno.  “A strong and barely controllable emotion” is most commonly associated with such extreme emotions as…..you guessed it….love and hate.  For those that remember traditional English, you may remember statements such as: “I hate that motherf******r with a passion”….or….  “They made passionate love”.  Obviously, both statements can clearly be interpreted within the bounds the definition above.  They are describing a extraordinary level of emotion.

Now, fast forward to “passion’s” current position in present-day lexicon.  TV ads will tell you whatever you are passionate about their product will make it better.  Every dumbass applicant out there will tout the passion that drives their desire to do whatever mundane job they are applying for.  Geez, I swear if everyone had the passion they claim to have these days, folks would be running around in the street either killing each other or humping people’s legs like horny dogs.
How about this……the next time you catch yourself speaking about your passion for something, ask yourself if passion is really the level of emotion you want to convey. For example, is your hobby something that interests you greatly or does the mere thought of it make you want to piss your pants?  If it ain’t the latter, you might not be passionate about it.
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About Phil

Hi, my name is Phil. I’ve managed to escape the corporate world, rid myself of excess belongings, travel the country extensively in my old Winnebago, and find a new home on a beautiful barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico. I define myself as: a free spirit, a writer, a philosophical anarchist, a poet; a lover of nature, a lover of art, a protector of animals, as well as a devoted friend and partner
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